Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ninety percent of ‘genuine’ Apple chargers on Amazon are fake

If you buy a “genuine” new Apple charger off Amazon, there’s a 90 percent chance it’s a fake.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker sued Mobile Star LLC for trademark infringement, claiming the company is selling counterfeit Apple chargers on Amazon. Apple bought more than 100 “iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine” by sellers on Amazon. The company discovered 90 percent of the products were fakes.

“Consumers, relying on’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from are anything but genuine,” the company wrote in the lawsuit, which was posted on Patently Apple. “This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly ‘by’ as genuine Apple products using Apple’s own product marketing images.”

Apple’s engineers claim that the Mobile Star products were “poorly constructed, with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation.” The fakes had the potential to catch fire and electrocute users.

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Apple is seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each registered copyright infringed, in addition to damages of up to $2 million per trademark infringed.

Amazon said it has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits,” and that it works “closely with manufacturers and brands, and [pursues] wrongdoers aggressively,” according to a statement sent to MacRumors. When Amazon was informed of the chargers, it turned over all of its inventory purchased from Mobile Star.

So how can you protect yourself from these dangerous knockoffs? Start with the smell test. If the charger is far cheaper than one you could purchase at the Apple store, then it’s likely to be a fake. Also, make sure to read product reviews and avoid products that have complaints of overheating or fraying wires.

Apple warns that Mobile Star products are still on the market.

“Mobile Star’s distribution of counterfeit Apple products is ongoing and extends beyond as shown by Apple’s purchase of 10 counterfeit Apple products directly from Groupon in December 2015,” the company wrote in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit continued, “In addition, an Apple investigator recently purchased counterfeit Apple EarPods headphones and Lightning cables directly from Mobile Star, showing that Mobile Star is brazenly continuing to sell counterfeit Apple products even after learning that Apple was on to it.”


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EVERYTHING IS RIGGED: Medicine, science, elections, the media, money, education, search engines, social media… you are living in a fabricated fairy tale

Rigged elections

(NaturalNews) After witnessing how Reuters just blatantly cooked the presidential election polls this week to favor Clinton and how the mainstream media is so terrifyingly biased in favor of Clinton that the very foundation of democracy is now in crisis, it’s time to tell you something that perhaps a lot more people are finally ready to hear:


Every institution in America is sold out, corrupted and politically rigged to favor Big Government and Big Business. “America is a lost country,” explains Paul Craig Roberts. “The total corruption of every public and the private institution is complete. Nothing remains but tyranny. And lies. Endless lies.”

CNN, Reuters and the Associated Press are all now shameless promoters of every big lie across every sector of society, from vaccines and GMOs to elections and politics. The federal government itself is incapable of doing anything other than lying, and it has totally corrupted the entire realm of science by pulling the strings of funding via the National Institutes of Health and the NSF.

The FDA is entirely corrupt, as is the USDA. Both function now as little more than marketing propaganda pushers for Big Pharma and Big Biotech. Similarly, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all rigged, too, censoring the voices they don’t want anyone to hear while highlighting the establishment lies they wish to promote.

Here’s what “rigged” really means… the tools of tyranny

When I say “everything is rigged,” what does that mean, exactly?

• All “official sources” are ordered to constantly lie about everything, weaving illusions to push a chosen narrative rooted in fiction (from “there are no Islamic terrorists” to “carbon dioxide is poison to the planet”).

• All voices of reason and sanity are silenced. Only the most insane, irrational voices are allowed to be magnified through any media (including social media). This is also true across the sciences, where real science has been all but snuffed out by political agendas (biosludge, GMOs, glyphosate, mercury in dentistry, etc.).

• All facts are obliterated by propaganda. Facts have no place in any debate, and those who invoke facts are shamed and silenced (or even fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools or bullied into a state of suicide on social media). Anyone who invokes facts on things like the actual statistics of police shootings is told they are “part of the problem” because they have the “wrong attitude” about social justice.

• Every branch of government is weaponized against the people and used as an assault tool against political enemies who threaten the status quo. (IRS, FDA, FTC, DEA, EPA, USDA, etc.)

• All science is distorted into absurd, politically-motivated conclusions about everything the government wants to use to control the masses: Vaccines, climate change, GMOs, fluoride, flu shots, chemical agriculture, carbon dioxide and so on.

• Every branch of medicine is hijacked by globalist agendas to make sure medicine never makes anyone healthier, more alert or more cognitively capable of thinking for themselves.

• Every “news item” that’s reported from any official source is deliberately distorted to the point of insanity, turning many facts on their heads while attacking anyone who might offer something truly constructive to the world. (Such as reporting that Clinton was “cleared” by the FBI when, in fact, she was indicted by the very facts the FBI presented!)

• All voices of truth are silenced, then replaced by meaningless, distracting babble (Kardashians) or meaningless, tribal sports competitions (the Rio Olympics). The point is to dumb down the entire population to the point of cultural lunacy.

• Any true reports that contradict any official narrative are immediately censored. For example, radio host Michael Savage just got blocked by Facebook for posting a true story about an illegal alien who committed murder in America.

• Emotions are used as weapons to manipulate the masses. For example, when the mom of a Benghazi victim shares her grief with the world, she is ridiculed and shamed. But when a radical Muslim father who’s trying to bring Sharia Law to America attacks Trump by expressing his loss of his soldier son, the media turns him into an instant celebrity, praising his “courageous voice” for daring to speak out. The media hypocrisy is enough to make you vomit…

What exactly is rigged?

• The entire mainstream media
• Google search engine and Google News
• Facebook and Twitter
• The DNC and the RNC (both 100% rigged by globalists)
• Every federal agency (EPA, FDA, etc.)
• The entire justice system (makes a total farce of real justice)
• Interest rates and the value of the money supply (central banksters)
• Academia (all public universities)
• EPA’s “safe” limits on pesticides (all rigged by Big Biotech)
• Food and food labeling (all run by corrupt food companies)
• Public education (rigged into Common Core anti-knowledge idiocy)
• Banking and finance (all controlled by globalists)
• Government economics figures and statistics
• Medicine and pharmaceuticals (rigged to maximize profits)
• Big Science (totally rigged by government agenda pushers)
• The music industry (most top singers can’t sing at all)
• Weapons manufacturers and war corporations
• The illegal drug trade (it’s run by the government)
• Political elections (all 100% rigged at the federal level)
• Political polls (now rigged by Reuters, too)
• The health insurance industry (rigged by Obamacare)
• College admissions (legally discriminates against Whites and Asians)
• 9/11 and domestic terrorism (all rigged “official stories”)
• Oil and energy industries
• The rule of law (rigged in favor of the rich and powerful)
• Infectious disease and the CDC (a constant stream of lies)
• Hollywood (all run by globalists)
• Climate change science (all a grand science hoax)
• Press release services (they only allow official narratives)
• History (what you are taught is mostly a lie)
• Government grants (only given out to those who further the agenda)
• Government bids (only awarded to those who kick back funds to corrupt officials)
• Consciousness and free will (we are all taught consciousness doesn’t exist)
• Ethnobotany (medicinal and spiritual use of healing plants)
• Life on other plants (the obvious truth is kept from us all)
• The origin of the universe (the official narrative is a laughable fairy tale)

As a fantastic example of how everything is rigged, consider these paragraphs from this news story published today:

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

Learn more:


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Where only dogs can go …

Image may contain: 1 person , dog and indoor
Love What Matters by S. Niehaus – 

“See this moment? I’ve never experienced a moment like this. Yesterday was the first day my 5 year old Autistic son met his new Autism Service Dog, Tornado. We are Americans that live overseas in Japan and have prepared for nearly two years to meet Tornado.

This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new Service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment. This is the face of a mom who has seen her son experience countless failed social interactions on the playground in an attempt to have a friend. Any friend. Any kind of connection. She has sat with her son while he has cried at night for months because he has no consistent connections outside of the family no matter how hard he tries and no matter what he works hard on in his Autism therapies. It doesn’t transfer to the natural occurring world for him. And now she is sitting behind her son silently watching this moment, with the air sucked from her lungs, and no words to say.

It’s worth every fight for services for my son, every diagnosis, every new provider, every dollar spent, every paper filled out, every school meeting, every shed tear, every step forward, every step back, and every wonder of the unknown future. Somehow because of this – because of Tornado – I know everything will be okay. As a mother, I have seen countless challenging and painful moments my son has encountered and cried countless more. Yesterday however, I cried for a different reason. It is a feeling that is indescribable.”

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A Love What Matters Original Story

Service Dog from 4 Paws For Ability


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US carbon emissions from energy lowest in 25 years

by Sami Grover

Wind power UK

There have been some incredible changes in our energy system in the last decade or so. From the rise of LEDs to the spread of wind and solar energy, we’ve seen significant advances in both lower emissions from energy production, and in ways to cut back on energy demand in the first place.

Last week saw a particularly exciting headline in this regard. As reported by Business Green, carbon emissions from energy production in the US for the first half of 2016 were the lowest we’ve seen since 1991.

As you might expect, the reasons for this decline are mixed. Milder weather meant lower heating demand. Coal use fell 18% since the same period in 2015. And renewables were up 9%. True, as we reported previously, transportation emissions have been on the rise—but the other changes in our energy demand more than made up for an uptick in oil use, apparently.

What’s interesting about all this is that we are just getting started. Whether it’s the tantalizing prospect of large-scale offshore wind in the US; the widespread, systemic impact of electrified transportation; or the fact that the Clean Power Plan is likely to start pushing down emissions even more (SCOTUS willing), I think we have good reason to anticipate further and more rapid progress than we have seen so far.

And it’s not a moment too soon. As the effects of global climate change continue to make themselves known, we really do need to get going on this mission as fast as we possibly can.

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Energy | Energy Efficiency | Renewable Energy


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Larry Ellison’s 10-Point Plan: How Oracle Will Beat Amazon In The Cloud

Simplify IT, Drive Innovation

BY Bob Evans – Oracle
Eager to help Oracle customers around the globe innovate and grow, founder Larry Ellison says his company’s surging efforts in Oracle ERP Cloud applications and cloud infrastructure have reshaped the competitive dynamics of the industry such that Oracle’s top two competitors are now Workday and Amazon Web Services.

Oracle can provide its customers the maximum possible benefit in the ERP cloud space—including financials, procurement, performance management, project management, and much more—Ellison says, because this application affects so many business processes. Workday has become Oracle’s only viable competitor in this space, given SAP’s obsession with building HANA, a new database platform. Oracle contends its ERP Cloud business is already much larger than Workday’s and is growing significantly more rapidly.














Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison explained Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud.

In the first quarter, which ended August 31, Oracle added 344 new ERP and EPM (enterprise performance management) cloud customers, CEO Mark Hurd said on Oracle’s September 15 earnings call. “That’s more ERP customers than Workday has sold to in the history of their company,” Hurd added.

However, over in the cloud infrastructure sector, the competitive dynamics are reversed as Amazon Web Services claimed first-mover status in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and has a significant lead over Oracle in IaaS revenue.

But it’s abundantly clear that Ellison is relishing—yet again—the role of underdog, a role he and Oracle have played successfully over the company’s history in database, middleware, applications, high-end business systems, and, more recently, in the two other major portions of the cloud business: SaaS (applications) and PaaS (platform as a service, including database, middleware, and programming languages).

During the annual Oracle OpenWorld mega-event in San Francisco late last month, Ellison laid out Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud, detailing an extensive set of capabilities, assets, and experiences that Oracle possesses and Amazon lacks for meeting the end-to-end needs of enterprise computing in the cloud. At the same time, Ellison went out of his way to freely acknowledge Amazon’s success and achievements here in the still-early days of the enterprise cloud. Ellison—always the master of the long game—constructed his core arguments around a few major themes:

For 40 years, Oracle’s one and only business has been enterprise computing, and that focus is only accelerating as Oracle completes its pivot to being a cloud-first company.
Companies that have run their businesses on on-premises systems and software for the past 30 to 40 years are not going to shift everything to the cloud in one year or five years or perhaps even 10 years—so, enterprise cloud vendors need to have expertise in both types of computing.
Oracle has not only the desire but the proven and hard-earned ability to compete at global enterprise scale in all three established layers of the cloud—SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—plus the emerging fourth layer, data as a service.

So, pulled from Ellison’s remarks during Oracle OpenWorld, as well as during a Q&A with financial analysts, here is Ellison’s 10-point plan for beating Amazon in the cloud.

1. Customer Choice for a Decade of Coexistence. As noted above, almost all businesses and large organizations today are operating significant on-premises estates of hardware, software, middleware, networks, and more. So while they’ll look to move to the cloud as quickly and securely as possible, the inescapable fact is that it’s going to take awhile to get to their desired state, and until then they’ll create and refine a blended “coexistence” model of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud. So in the meantime, which enterprise-cloud vendors can meet those needs? While Amazon surely cannot, Ellison says Oracle’s unmatched technology and experience will help lead customers through this challenging period by making it possible for them to have “your data center and your cloud services used interchangeably at the touch of a button.”

2. Lower Acquisition Price and TCO and Better Performance. Ellison says Oracle will be able to offer cloud infrastructure that not only outperforms Amazon’s, but comes with a lower acquisition price and lower cost of ownership over time. This is possible, Ellison explains, for a few reasons unique to Oracle:

a) Oracle plays at all three layers of the cloud, and Amazon doesn’t—so Oracle’s end-to-end cloud services and technologies give customers the choice of avoiding the costly, time-consuming, and highly complex integrations that cannot be avoided with Amazon.

b) Oracle’s huge R&D investments are generating world-class data-center technologies and expertise that Amazon can’t hope to match, says Ellison. The new “Generation 2” data centers that Ellison and President Thomas Kurian announced at Oracle OpenWorld will have big competitive advantages over what Amazon IaaS can offer: 2X as many cores as AWS, 10X I/O capacity, *plus* 20% less cost to businesses. “Gen 2 means you build a fundamentally simpler, cheaper, more reliable, more secure, and more-powerful data center where we have significant advantages. In some cases, our costs are multiple times lower than Amazon’s…and we deliver better performance,” Ellison said.

c) Oracle’s massive installed base of enterprise-scale workloads: “Our big customers haven’t really started moving much [of these big workloads] to the cloud yet. That’s a huge opportunity for us.”

3. Software Chops that Amazon Lacks. For all of Amazon’s early successes in offering compute and storage services, Ellison said, it simply doesn’t have the breadth and depth of enterprise-class R&D to compete at all levels of enterprise cloud computing—not just IaaS but also PaaS and SaaS. That multilayer expertise, Ellison said, is essential in the enterprise cloud for optimal performance, security, reliability, and price. (For a detailed discussion of Oracle’s Gen 2 data centers and overall IaaS and PaaS strategy, see this extensive interview with Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian.)

Ellison went on to make the argument that four—and only four—tech companies have the deep software expertise and data-center expertise to compete at all layers of the cloud: Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook (with the caveat of “if they want to” for Google and Facebook). “One of Facebook’s core competencies is data centers,” Ellison told the analysts. “A Facebook data center is better than a Google data center and it’s better than an Amazon data center, and let me tell you why: they’re newer, and they use newer technology.”

On top of data center competency, he said, success across the enterprise cloud will be wholly dependent on breadth and depth of enterprise-software expertise: “We are still the largest enterprise software company in the world. Microsoft is the largest software company in the world.…You look at a and you look at an Amazon and they’re both called ‘big cloud companies’ and yet they have nothing to do with one another. They don’t do the same thing at all. So my belief is that in order to compete broadly in the cloud at the SaaS layer and the infrastructure layer and the PaaS layer, you have to be a pretty big software company. And I would argue, Amazon’s not a real big software company. Don’t get me wrong—I have a lot of respect for Amazon—I really do. I think they’ve done an incredible job. But I don’t think of them as a really big software company in the way I think of Microsoft as a big software company, or in the way I think of Oracle as a big software company.”

4. Unique, Unparalleled Security. At his opening-night keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld last month, Ellison proclaimed, “If you don’t think data security is a big thing and getting bigger every day, you are mistaken!” And he used much of not only that presentation but also his second keynote address to hammer home the huge investments Oracle is making in security from the chip level through databases to applications and networks and virtualization. And security is core to the design of Oracle’s next-gen data centers, which Ellison described in some detail during his Q&A with financial analysts: “And I think you’ll see a lot of emphasis on the network because in these cloud data centers, your limitations in performance are largely the network. Your risks and security are largely the network. So we spent a lot of time re-architecting this and building this virtualized network in our Gen 2 data centers. It allows us to give you much better security as messages move around the network. Not only is everything encrypted in motion, it’s encrypted at rest—in storage. It’s encrypted in motion on a network, but because it’s virtualized, each message is encapsulated with virtual addresses. It’s almost impossible for people to interpret these messages as they’re flying around.”

Likewise, Oracle does its software-defined networking in network processors off-box with no access to the public internet. “So you can’t break in—there is no door! So, we did it very, very differently than everyone else did it,” Ellison said. “…The big difference in our infrastructure as a service is our network and how we do virtualization.”

5. Unleash Tremendous Business Value. Oracle’s massive end-to-end R&D investments in all three layers of the cloud let customers move more low-value manual IT work over to Oracle, which in turn enables those customers to redeploy huge chunks of their IT budgets to customer-facing initiatives focused on innovation and growth. In his meeting with financial analysts, Ellison focused on the huge competitive advantages those investments are delivering in the mission-critical areas of database and analytics/AI:

Database: Ellison expects more and more customers will discover the new features and functions of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 via the cloud, not by loading it on on-premises boxes. Oracle’s new Exadata Express Cloud Service starts at $175 a month. “I think it’s extremely attractive for everything from an MIT graduate student who’s starting her own company to a large corporation like General Electric with thousands and thousands of developers who can develop on our cloud rather than develop in their data center,” he said. “So, I think the opportunity for 12.2 is gigantic.”

Database and analytics/AI: “Do you know who the last big purchaser of our analytics software was? It’s a really big retail company: Amazon,” Ellison said with a smile. “So, how good is the opportunity for analytics? Well, Amazon is buying our analytics. Amazon runs most of their retail stuff on the Oracle Database, and they’re buying our analytics. We think the opportunity for analytics is enormous, and we’re selling analytics to our big database customers.”

6. Lift and Shift Enterprise Workloads. Oracle’s newest data centers give customers a powerful new option: To lift and shift entire workloads—even an entire data center’s worth of workloads—into Oracle Cloud, complete with IP addresses and virtualization software. Oracle offers IaaS using Oracle Linux and Xen-based virtualization software (based on open source projects that Oracle contributes to), which it has optimized for cloud infrastructure. But Oracle’s Bare Metal IaaS gives customers the choice of using their existing architecture without rewriting apps, so that a company running a workload on Red Hat Linux and VMware virtualization can move that as is to Oracle’s Bare Metal infrastructure.

“That is a very big deal,” Ellison said. “Right now, people are moving kind of an application at a time, and they have to partially rewrite, at least reconfigure the application, retest it on the new OS, change the I/O. They have to do a lot of things to move an existing application to a data center. You have to retrain your people over—there’s a bunch of things you have to do, not so with our new Bare Metal experience. It’s just, take your existing network, your existing network definitions with your existing range of IP addresses, your existing operating system, your existing hypervisor, your existing database, your existing apps, your existing everything, move it over, and it just runs. No one else can do that. We think that’s very, very important.”

7. Fast, Easy Purchasing via Oracle’s Accelerated Buying Experience. Ellison recalled when the Oracle leadership team decided it needed to become the easiest enterprise-cloud company to do business with. “I give credit to Amazon,” Ellison said. “The company we were looking at and studying was Amazon.” If Oracle hadn’t changed how it sells cloud, that would’ve been a huge impediment to growth, Ellison said. But it did change. Today, Oracle has neutralized that AWS advantage by totally rewiring how it sells cloud services, creating what it calls the Accelerated Buying Experience to automate much of the process of configuring and quoting a cloud service and to offer a click-to-accept option to purchase.

“We decided to redo our contracts to make them human-readable, to make them easy,” Ellison said. “…It eliminated a lot of the friction and heat inside of companies who wanted to consume our services.” Almost 70% of Oracle Cloud deals used the Accelerated Buying Experience in the past quarter, and Ellison said he expects that percentage to keep growing. “I think it’s the way customers want to buy.”

8. No Hotel California, which “You Can Never Leave.” Unlike Oracle’s unconditional commitment to industry standards, AWS has two cloud databases and *both* are closed—“more closed than an IBM mainframe,” Ellison said, noting that, even in the mainframe’s heyday, companies could move their IBM workloads to other mainframe makers’ hardware. Ellison added that, while Amazon’s Aurora and Redshift databases are based on open source projects (MySQL and Postgres), they aren’t open source code that companies could choose to run on their own infrastructure; they run only on Amazon’s IaaS. By comparison, companies can run Oracle Database on premises, in AWS, in Oracle Cloud, or anywhere they want. And, Oracle’s benchmark tests show Oracle Database runs faster on Oracle Cloud than on AWS, and that Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud ran 105 times faster than Aurora and 35 times faster than Redshift on AWS.

9. Public Cloud and Private Cloud and Cloud at Customer. While Amazon offers only public cloud, Oracle offers public *and* private clouds, in all combinations customers might need or want during their decade of coexistence between on premises and the cloud. For example, a company can run its development and testing on Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service, and then move that workload for production to its own on-premises data center, using an identical cloud environment based on Oracle Exadata. And in another perfect alignment of on-premises data center operations with the cloud, Oracle’s Cloud at Customer offering lets customers deploy within their data centers the same systems—hardware and software—that run Oracle Cloud. And, they can pay for these systems on the same subscription, usage basis as the same service in Oracle Cloud.

10. Win over ISVs. Ellison acknowledged Amazon has done a good job getting startup independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-dependent businesses like Netflix to run workloads on AWS, on alternative databases such as Mongo DB. That said, Netflix isn’t an enterprise workload that would’ve ever been a candidate for Oracle Database, Ellison said. But now, a new wave of true enterprise ISV apps are ready to move to the cloud, many of which are built on Oracle Database. “It doesn’t make sense to me for very many SaaS companies to run their own infrastructure or, for that matter, run their own database,” Ellison said. “…We should be able to save them money, get better performance, better security, better reliability, all of those things.” Helping ISVs run in the cloud, and run more efficiently, is a “gigantic” opportunity for Oracle, Ellison said. “I think that’s one thing that no one is expecting.”

At the end of the day, Oracle’s market opportunities in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are symbiotic with Oracle’s customers’ needs. In today’s tumultuous business world, where disruption is everywhere and customers are calling the shots, companies that cannot aggressively fund customer-centric business innovation will die. Those innovations can only come from the efficient use of cloud services, and Oracle is becoming the only tried-and-true business technology provider that can offer those efficiencies.

Turning around traditional vendor-customer relationships where vendors won at the customer’s expense, Oracle Cloud is becoming that true unicorn where Oracle and its customers can both win.

Bob Evans is senior vice president and chief communications officer for Oracle.


Safe Harbor Disclaimer The preceding is intended to outline Oracle’s general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.


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From the desk of Larry Baer


Dear Stephen:

I hoped we would still be playing right now. We all did. Tuesday’s loss was about as tough as it gets in baseball. Yet I find myself thinking about how proud I am of this team who — despite the ups and downs of the second half – battled their way into a wild card berth and were among the four National League teams still playing in October. That says a lot about the character of our players, coaches, front office and, of course, our fans.

Though we exited the playoffs earlier than we hoped, I’m proud that once again our team, led by future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy, never stopped fighting. If anything illustrates what Bochy calls “champion blood in their DNA,” it is their success in do-or-die games. Their streak of 10 straight victories in elimination games is the longest in Major League history. In all of sports, only the Boston Celtics have more.

And we head into the off season in a much stronger position than we were at this time last year. Our needs are clear, which I’ll get to in a moment. But our strengths are also clear — namely a foundation of talented, battle-tested, mostly homegrown players and an elite starting rotation.

The final weeks of the season encapsulated so many of the reasons we’re energized about diving into the work of putting another playoff caliber team on the field in 2017. There were enough gritty, inspiring performances to fill a highlight reel.

There was Matt Moore, who arrived in a mid-season trade, coming within one out of throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers in late August and then staring down the Cubs for eight innings in the National League Division Series Tuesday night, giving up just two hits.

There was Conor Gillaspie emerging as yet another example of the Giants summoning surprise performances from players up and down the lineup. With the team battling for a Wild Card berth, Conor dove into a photographer’s well, flipped over a television camera and popped up with the foul ball in his glove. He was our hottest hitter during the final week of the regular season and batted .421 with six RBI during the postseason. Against the Mets in the Wild Card game, he broke the 0-0 tie in the ninth with a three-run homer to win the game. He came through again with a two-run triple off Aroldis Chapman on the way to winning Game 3 against the Cubs.

There was rookie Ty Blach making a strong case for a spot in the 2017 rotation. He pitched eight shutout innings against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in that final weekend and was an inspiration to us all. Then — stepping into the frying pan of Monday’s tense Game 3 – he coolly threw two scoreless innings to earn the win in the 13th inning.

There was Derek Law, with a 2.13 ERA in his rookie season, shutting down the Cubs for two innings Monday night then cheering wildly and waving a rally towel in the dugout like a kid in the bleacher seats.

There was Joe Panik, hampered by injuries for much of the season, batting .462 in the postseason. Denard Span set the table during the NLDS with some critical and timely hits.

Our starting pitching features All-Stars Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto at the top of the rotation. Bumgarner recorded more than 200 strikeouts for the third straight season, joining Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Amos Rusie and Tim Lincecum as the only Giants ever to do so. Cueto finished third in innings pitched (219.2), tied for third in wins (18), fifth in ERA (2.79) and sixth in strikeouts (198). Jeff Samardzija posted a 2.45 ERA in his last 10 starts, lowering the starting staff’s ERA to 3.71 for the season, the fifth best in the big leagues.

Our defense was outstanding in 2016, the best in baseball. Led by All-Stars Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey in the infield, and our inspirational leader Hunter Pence in right, the Giants defense had the highest fielding percentage (.988) in all of baseball. They set the longest errorless streak in National League history with a late-summer stretch of 17 consecutive games.

The primary and obvious focus in the off-season is to fortify the bullpen. As we were reminded this week, no team can win without a strong, reliable bullpen. Under the outstanding leadership of Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans, we will actively pursue options, whether through free agency or trades, to add to our young arms.

In short, we will pursue every opportunity and commit the necessary resources to field the best possible team to get back to the playoffs in 2017.

When the historic streak came to an end this week, we were reminded that champion’s blood is, more than anything, about character. We saw it in the clubhouse after Tuesday’s defeat. There was no retreat from addressing the media, no finger-pointing. The players faced their disappointment with grace, reflection and resolve. They said they would double-down on preparation, that they’d never forget how awful this felt. They hugged and consoled and thanked one another. As always, they had each other’s backs.

And as always, you had theirs. Despite the ups and downs of the season, they could look up into the stands and see wave upon wave of orange and black. A full house every game. You make it clear: We’re all in this together. Every player is so grateful to play in front of the best fans in baseball.

Thank you for another incredible season and I am already counting the days til pitchers and catchers report.


Laurence M. Baer
President & CEO


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What Do Current Economic Trends Mean for Property Management?









There are times where we throw caution to the wind and go “all in.” There are other times to pause and carefully ponder the realities of what may be “coming around the bend.” Perhaps, after nearly 8 years of low interest rates and endless economic stimulants, we are now in the “carefully ponder” stage of economic realities. Now is a good time for property managers to be cautious. Notice I didn’t say “scared” and I never propose “indolence” (an excellent word to know about). With patience and keen observations come immediate results. It’s the power of doing almost nothing.

Recently we learned that the U.S. economy added only 151,000 jobs during August, giving the reluctant Fed justification to delay an interest rate hike until December. That’s the most likely scenario. This familiar posture for the Fed was exacerbated by the Chinese economic scare, plunging oil prices and spooked equity markets in early 2016. Then Brexit hit leading into the summer meetings and now the uncertainty of the upcoming U.S. elections.

“Lower-for-longer,” interest rates now look like “lower forever” unless the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) surprises and proceeds with normalizing monetary policy. This appears unlikely. Low interest rates benefit borrowers, including single-family rental investors. At today’s rates, investors will be able to leverage investment assets at historically low rates.

Meanwhile auto sales are turning south. After rising for 66 straight months, retail car sales have now fallen four out of the last six months. My sources say that this trend is likely to continue.

This and other factors suggest the making of a new economic trend and not just for the auto sector. The entire economy is beginning to show unmistakable signs of slowing.

When people are overwhelmed with financial uncertainty they buy fewer cars and take fewer vacations. They’re going to eat out less and cut back on noncritical spending and purchases.

In other words, the big drop-off in car sales could mean U.S. consumers are already cutting back. That’s probably why U.S. manufacturing is weakening as we begin the 4th quarter.

Last month, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that its Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 52.6 in July to 49.6 in August. This index measures the strength of the U.S. manufacturing sector. When the index dips below 50, it signals recession. More importantly, the services and manufacturing sectors are now weakening at the same time. It’s significant that both indices would weaken so much at the same time.

The manufacturing index dropped to 49.4% from 52.6% in August and the ISM services metric slipped to 51.4% from 55.5%. The combined reading was also the weakest in six years. Look out below!
Here’s my takeaway: Now’s a good time to upgrade and streamline your property management business. Have the best most efficient technology and software available to navigate your operations.

Develop a “wait and see” strategy that takes into consideration the perspectives and preferences of your clients. Take the time to know what they are and invite their feedback now, not later.

Doing “almost nothing” incorporates prudence, calm and careful analysis. It doesn’t invite procrastination and should empower you to prioritize your work for the months and year ahead.


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